Personal Notes: A Man’s Love for Aaliyah + Celebrity Crushes


Two men (and others who would never dare go public about it) have shown off their Aaliyah tattoos in recent weeks. I’m appalled, but to a certain degree, I understand the lust and admiration for a celebrity crush. Shoot, I salivate at Idris Elba, cheese like a giddy schoolgirl at the slightest mention of Chris Brown, and if you mention Ryan Gosling, I will spew every silver screen appearance he’s made. But what is up with men getting away with etching their schoolboy fantasies on their bodies?

Sure, Aaliyah was a goddess to men, more than a woman placed on Earth to make men melt with her soothing melodies, a flip of her frontal hair swoop and a coy smile. And her influence still emits from today’s music, but these tattoos, though? Not in my wildest have I ever thought men would take it that far. However you spin it, the sight of the young singer’s likeness on Drake’s back (and we won’t even mention the other “rapper” on account that I’m still not over his comments about dark-skinned women) was startling. I had the realest WTF moment as soon as I saw it. Would a tattoo of Jiggaman on Nicki Minaj’s torso sit well with the masses, or how about a bicep pictorial of Biggie inked on Mary J. Blige? Hell no, fuckin’ wrong, just stick to tatting lyrics of a song or a quote from the mouth of such a motivator.

Trust me, I’ve run into my share of men who, to this very day, still worship Aaliyah. She was thee girl to be with and thee girl that younger girls, myself included, wanted to be. But when does adoration cross the fine line into obsession. (See: here)

Celebrity crushes have taken on a whole new life, and it gives me pause for this new hip-hop culture. It a world full of man crushes, girl crushes and straight up someone-should-get-a-restraining-order crushes, I wonder what this over-the-top, gotta-prove-myself generation will do. The Drake forehead tattoo (to which he admittedly said was “surreal”)? Hello, world, that’s not normal behavior. What ever happened to the days when you just ripped out pages of a mag and taped ‘em to your wall? Now we’re deciding to carry around our love for these pop culture icons like they owe us something, as if stealing 15 minutes (or an hour) on blog sites will make our particular membership to their fan club more authentic.